5 Tips to Help You Homeschool When Your World Falls Apart

When you're committed to homeschooling but your world falls apart, what do you do? These five tips are helping my family through a difficult time.

Photo Credit, David Niblack, Imagebase.net

5 Tips to Help You Homeschool When Your World Falls Apart

I don’t know what brought you to this place. Maybe it was a death, divorce, separation, job loss, or catastrophic accident or illness. Something big happened that resulted in a move, a need to find immediate work outside the home, or a period when you were unable to care for your family. Whatever brought you here, your world has fallen apart, and you’re supposed to be homeschooling. What do you do now?

I am walking this path myself, and I’m using a few different strategies to get through this difficult time and keep our homeschool on track:

  • Keep going. Although we haven’t felt like doing our lessons every day, keeping the routine has been good for all of us. Studying has given us something else to think about besides our immediate situation and has given us a sense of continuity as we work on lessons every day, just like always. (Some days we’re working different hours than we used to, but knowing what to expect each day has been helpful.)
  • Take a break. There are some days that homeschooling just isn’t a good option. Emotions may be running too high, it may be more important to catch up on sleep, or you may need time to breathe in the middle of whatever you’re going through. We have taken a break on a day that we planned to do school, and it wasn’t wasted. We rested, and the girls did lots of educational activities that day while we were hanging out together. Play and experiencing life together are educational in many ways, even though they may not be part of your regularly scheduled school day.
  • Ease up. If it’s a difficult day but you don’t want to quit on school completely, consider crossing a subject or two off the list, just for that day. Instead of a full science lesson from your regular curriculum, find a documentary on a related topic on Netflix or Curiosity Stream to watch together. You may find if you ease up just a bit, you feel better and can do more than you thought.
  • Change your schedule. When your world is already crashing in around you and circumstances are vastly different from when you began your school year, take a look at your schedule. Make arrangements when needed. Do you need to school on Saturdays now to make up for not being able to school on Tuesdays anymore? Do you need to switch from studying in the mornings to evenings? Flexibility is one of homeschooling’s huge benefits! Use it to your advantage now while you and your children navigate your way through your current struggles.
  • Accept help. Accept help where you need it from friends, neighbors, your faith community, family members, and even your children. Working together as a team with others makes burdens feel lighter and will give you a little breathing room to focus on your kids and their lessons.

You’re going through a rough time. Don’t give up on homeschooling. Make some adjustments each day that will help you get through the day. Then do the same thing the next day, and the next. Before you know it, you’ll have another year under your belt.

What strategies has your family used to homeschool during difficult times?

Posted in Homeschool | 8 Comments

I Believe in You by Michele Gianetti {Review}

Review of I Believe in You by Michele Gianetti, a beautiful story of a mother and daughter and their journey with Sensory Processing Disorder and dyspraxia.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of I Believe in You from the author for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

I Believe in You by Michele Gianetti

I Believe in You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey is about Michele’s experience with her second child, who has Sensory Processing Disorder and dyspraxia. While she doesn’t idealize the situation, she presents the difficulties her family faced with love and grace. I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next, what happened when her daughter was certain ages, what therapies they tried, and what their experiences were with various specialists. I was not disappointed. Michele covers all that and more, but this is a book to aid others either by education and understanding or in helping parents in similar situations to feel that they’re not alone, not a book that elicits pity from the reader.

I appreciated Michele’s sensitive handling of her daughter’s challenges, the way she explained the steps they took to make progress, the celebration of every victory (no matter how small), and her honesty about her feelings through it all. There was so much I could identify with in her story. This book will go on my list of recommended reads for parents who are struggling with their children’s Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, or dyspraxia diagnoses. And I’m in good company. Lucy Jane Miller of STAR Center endorsed I Believe in You too. (I almost squealed when I saw her name on the back cover!)

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Review, Sensory Processing Disorder, Special Needs | Leave a comment

Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration {Review}

Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration {Review} - jenniferajanes.com

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration from Sensory World for review purposes. I received no other compensation. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration

Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration, Third Edition by Ellen Yack, BSc, MEd, OT and Paula Aquilla, BSc, OT and Shirley Sutton, BSc, OT is a book I wish I’d had when my daughter was first diagnosed with high-functioning autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. It contains good information for parents, teachers, therapists, and anyone else who spends time with children who have autism or sensory integration challenges.

Building Bridges begins by explaining sensory integration, sensory systems, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and occupational therapy in language that is easy to understand. The authors also provide anecdotes and examples to illustrate the information and make it even easier to comprehend.

The second part of the book is filled with very practical information to help caregivers provide children with interactions and assistance that will help with sensory integration in every setting. The chapter titles for Part 2 are:

  • Identifying Problems with Sensory Integration
  • Strategies for Challenging Behaviors
  • Ideas for Self-care skills
  • Adapting Home, School, and Childcare Settings
  • Activity Suggestions
  • Equipment and Resources

The information in these chapters is organized well, is easy to scan (lots of bullet points and white space on each page), and is useful and easy to apply. The authors have also provided links to PDF downloads of forms and activity cards to print so you don’t have to mess up your book trying to get to the forms!

This book is a great reference for me now, even after my daughter has spent years in occupational therapy. But if I had had it years ago, what a difference it would have made in empowering me to provide her with a better sensory diet at home and in knowing exactly what to do to manage inappropriate behaviors and to help her learn coping skills earlier! I highly recommend this book to parents whose children are just receiving diagnoses and to the people who help to care for and provide services for them.

Posted in Autism, Book Reviews, Review, Sensory Processing Disorder, Special Needs | Leave a comment

Independent Reading in Our Homeschool

Looking for a way to hold your junior high or high school student accountable for independent reading? Here's how I use Reading Portfolio - and other tips!

Disclosure: I received a free subscription to Reading Portfolio for my family. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are honest, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Independent Reading in Our Homeschool

My older daughter spends a lot of time reading. Almost every day, I can record “independent reading” beside her name in my lesson plans. She usually has several books going at once, and I work to keep her accountable for what she’s reading. As she enters her junior high and high school years, it’s especially important to me that she read books that will expand her exposure to literature and give her a range of genres, authors, and themes to draw from in her writing and thinking. To encourage this, I work to hold her accountable for her reading choices.

Accountability for Independent Reading

Some ways I have found to hold my daughter accountable for both her reading and the titles she chooses are:

Read along with her. As my daughter begins tackling titles with more mature themes, I have started reading the book right along with her. We don’t always read the same chapter at the same time, but reading simultaneously refreshes my memory of details I may have forgotten and gives me the opportunity to discuss things with her that she might find confusing or disturbing.

Discuss books. Whether I’m reading along with her or not, my daughter and I have a long history of discussing books we’re reading. She often follows me around while I do household chores, chattering about the book she’s reading. I ask questions, trying to tease out the themes and understand the storyline (and checking her comprehension). She likes to read fantasy, which is not my favorite genre, so I thoroughly test her understanding of the text (and her patience, I’m sure) as I try to comprehend the new world she has landed in. She asks about the books I’m reading too, and we discuss them in the same way. Sometimes I tell her something that sparks her interest, and she adds a book to her “to read” list. Usually the new title is one that she probably wouldn’t have picked up on her own, but the discussion leads her to explore new titles.

Create a reading portfolio. I recently discovered a tool called Reading Portfolio that helps me keep track of what my daughter reads and holds her accountable for comprehension and critical thinking about the text. As she has gotten older, her reading curriculum takes only a semester to complete instead of two, and she spends a lot of time doing independent reading. With Reading Portfolio, I can assign her an amount of points to earn for each semester (more for the semester with no reading coursework, and fewer for the semester that she’s completing her class).

Reading Portfolio’s list of books includes a lot of books that she normally wouldn’t choose for herself, so that certainly helps me to encourage her to expand her choices. The questions are not impossibly difficult but make sure that you’ve read the text. (I took a test on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe myself, and I was surprised that I had to think about some of the answers, even after having read the book several times!) Best of all . . .

  • the quizzes are already written,
  • quizzes are automatically scored,
  • scores are recorded and credited to my daughter’s portfolio immediately with no extra work on my part.

Reading Portfolio Independent Reading Tracker - jenniferajanes.com

When my daughter is ready to apply for college, she will have an extensive reading portfolio to present in her college applications.

  • The cost for a one-year subscription is $15.95.
  • A ten-year subscription is just $24.95.
  • The site is open for students 13 years and older, so it’s perfect for junior high and high school students.
  • The more books they read and quizzes they pass, the higher their Reading Portfolio score will be. Higher scores will show colleges that students are well-read and may help with the application process.

Reading Portfolio profile - jenniferajanes.com

Want to find out more? Visit Reading Portfolio:

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Reading Portfolio Giveaway

Free one year subscriptions to 25 entrants. Widget closes 8/27/2015 11:00 pm EST.

  • Entry in the giveaway means you give Reading Portfolio permission to send you emails. You can unsubscribe at any time.
  • Winners must redeem their prizes within 14 days.
  • Winners must register as a subscriber and complete a quiz on Reading Portfolio by October 1, 2015.
  • Reading Portfolio will give a refund to anyone who buys our product but then wins the giveaway.
Posted in Homeschool, Homeschool Curriculum Reviews, Reading | 6 Comments

HCSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students {Review}

My twelve-year-old's favorite features of the HCSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students. Accompanying giveaway ends August 19, 2015 at 9:00 pm CDT.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the HCSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students from Propeller Consulting, LLC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

HCSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students

I have to be honest with you. I haven’t seen much of the HCSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students since it entered my home. I got to look at it briefly, and then my 12-year-old grabbed it. BookGirl immediately began looking to see what features it had. Since that time, she has brought the Bible to me, showing me different things that she has found interesting. The highlights for her are:

  • It’s HCSB, the translation our pastor preaches from, making it easy to follow along during the sermons.
  • The articles addressing real-life questions and issues facing today’s students.
  • Fast Facts, which teach students how to defend their faith.
  • Twisted Scriptures highlights, where Bible passages that get misused by cults are explained in context.
  • Bones & Dirt sidebars showing how archaeology proves the reliability of Scripture by exploring different artifacts.

I love her level of engagement. She is actively studying the Word of God each day, learning how to defend her faith and studying topics that are important and relevant. I love it when she brings me the Bible and talks to me about what she’s learning, showing me something she just read in Scripture or one of the articles. It has been good for us and for our relationship with God and each other.

The only negative we found with this Bible is that the pages are pretty thin. You have to be careful with them when you’re flipping through. They tear easily.

In addition to the Bible itself, there’s a great website with free resources, including sixteen videos with Sean McDowell discussing important questions that students ask and issues they face. I especially liked one based on the Bones & Dirt feature of this Bible because it talked about the Dead Sea Scrolls and how they reinforce the reliability of Scripture. You can also enter the Confident Faith Sweepstakes and learn more about the National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA) while you’re there!

If that’s not enough to get excited about, I’m giving away a copy of the HCSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students, courtesy of Propeller Consulting, LLC:

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Update: The winner of the HCSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students is Cyndi!

In addition to the rules stated above, the giveaway works like this:

  • The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada ages 18 and older.
  • The giveaway ends on Wednesday, August 19, 2015, at 9:00 pm CDT.
  • To enter the giveaway, leave a comment answering the question below.
  • Only one comment per household.
  • Duplicate or “extra” comments or comments left after the giveaway ends will be deleted.
  • The winner will be chosen at random using the plug-in And the Winner Is.
  • The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours of the end of the giveaway and will have 24 hours to respond with the requested information. If the information isn’t received, another winner will be chosen. The information will be sent to Propeller Consulting, LLC so your Bible can be shipped.

Ready to enter? Leave a comment answering the following question:

What do you think your student (or you!) would most enjoy about the HCSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students?

Posted in Review | 9 Comments

Our Homeschooling Schedule

Like our lives, our homeschooling schedule has to be flexible and fluid. Here's a glimpse at what it looks like starting our 2015-16 school year.

Our Homeschooling Schedule

I’m still trying to figure out our homeschooling schedule for 2015-16. Now that I’m working outside the home ten hours a week (spread over two days), I’ve got to reconsider our routine. We’re starting school this week, though, so I’m about to jump in and see what happens. Here’s my plan, based on what worked pretty well at the end of last year:

The days I work:

Everyone will be up no later than 6:30 am. This is only thirty minutes earlier than the kids got up on the days I worked this summer. (There is a lot of wasted time in the mornings, and I’m determined to reclaim it.) After quick showers and breakfast, the girls will work on math, reading, and language arts until mid-morning, when I report to work. Anything they don’t finish with they can take to the clinic and complete while I’m working. I’m available to answer questions if they need help. Princess will also receive occupational therapy while we’re there. When they’re not working on lessons, they can play in the gym areas in the clinic (physical education! 😉 ), read, knit, play on the iPad, and help out around the clinic when needed.

When we get home in the afternoons, we will work on science and social studies, which are subjects we generally work on together anyway. This is also when we’ll pursue studies in art and music. Sometimes on these days, we may not get to science and social studies. In that case, we’ll double up on the days I’m not working. The girls have also expressed an interest in doing some work on Saturdays this school year to lighten the load during the week.

The days I don’t work:

BookGirl and I normally get up around the same time as the days I work. Princess may stay in bed for another hour or so. We begin with the core subjects again (math, language arts, and reading). The girls work independently as much as possible, and I’m nearby, available to help. As they wrap up those lessons, we move straight into science and social studies and try to finish those before lunch. That leaves our afternoons free for exploration in art, music, and other creative endeavors like knitting. Sometimes we have afternoon playdates. Sometimes we watch documentaries we’re interested in because of other studies we’ve done. Sometimes we just watch movies and laugh (or cry) together.

Evenings:

The girls often do physical education in the evenings. They ride their bikes, play outside, jump rope, and have hours worth of dance classes each week. Princess has horseback riding lessons at a therapeutic riding facility once a week. The girls do stretches every night, working on their splits and general flexibility for dance.

Our schedule is busy, and we work diligently to get everything done. I’m sure we will make adjustments to this schedule as we get into the routine for this school year, but this basic plan should work!

 

Related articles:

Want to see what other families’ homeschooling schedules look like? Visit the iHomeschool Network Day in the Life Blog Hop to see and add your own!

iHomeschool Network Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop Calendar 2015

 

Posted in "Not" Back to School, Homeschool, Special Needs | Leave a comment

8 Things My Kids Like about Homeschooling

I asked my kids what they like about homeschooling, gave them my camera, and discovered what my kids appreciate about a lifestyle of learning.

8 Things My Kids Like about Homeschooling

My kids enjoy homeschooling. How they feel about their educational experience and what we can do differently comes up as a topic of conversation on a regular basis. But sometimes I have a hard time getting them to tell me exactly what it is that they appreciate about the lifestyle of learning we’ve developed. I’m sure the answers will change soon, but when I gave my camera to my kids this weekend and asked them to take pictures of what they like about homeschooling (without repeating what we’ve already shared about our curriculum and school room), I learned a lot.

BookGirl

what my kids like about homeschooling

My twelve-year-old, BookGirl, chose these four pictures to represent what she likes about homeschooling.

  1. BookGirl loves that homeschooling gives her plenty of time to pursue her passions. One of her passions is dance. She will be starting her tenth year this fall, and she began taking classes this summer to earn her dance teacher certification by the time she graduates from high school.
  2. Another activity BookGirl enjoys is knitting. Because we homeschool, her evenings aren’t tied up with homework every night, so she has lots of time to knit and explore other creative pursuits.
  3. BookGirl loves being able to do her lessons with her cat Midnight nearby. That would never happen in the traditional classroom!
  4. BookGirl is a voracious reader, so her Kindle represents the time she has to explore many topics through reading.

Princess

what my kids like about homeschooling

My ten-year-0ld Princess took three pictures to show what she enjoys about homeschooling. (The fourth picture was a mutual response from both BookGirl and Princess, taken by BookGirl.)

5. Princess enjoys the opportunity to pursue her love of art and other creative projects when she’s finished with her lessons.

6. She plans to be a hair stylist when she grows up, and she spends some of her free time fixing her dolls’ hair into different styles in preparation for when she can begin cosmetology training.

7. Princess enjoys having her cat Oreo Cookie nearby while she’s doing her lessons. She caught Oreo enjoying a treat on her second birthday here.

8. Princess mentioned TV first, but BookGirl actually snapped this picture. Both of the girls enjoy watching documentaries from Netflix and YouTube to supplement what they learn during their lessons as well as to explore topics they’re interested in.

 

What do your kids enjoy about homeschooling?

 

Related articles:

Want to see homeschooling through the eyes of other homeschooled students? Visit iHomeschool Network’s NOT Back-to-School Blog Hop!

iHomeschool Network Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop Calendar 2015

Posted in "Not" Back to School, Homeschool | 2 Comments

Having “The Talk” with Your Preteens (Passport2Purity)

Struggling to have "the talk" with your preteens? Passport2Purity was a tremendous help to my family! *REVIEW*

*I received a Passport2Purity Getaway Kit from FlyBy Promotions in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Having “The Talk” with Your Preteens (Passport2Purity)

My daughters are ten and twelve years old now, and we’ve had discussions about changes to their bodies and other intimate issues for a few years. I was pleased that the doors of communication were open, but I’ve often wondered if I had forgotten to talk to them about something important. After all, no one ever gave me an outline of topics to cover. My mom made it all seem so effortless when I was a preteen, while I’ve fumbled through, trying not to feel embarrassed.

Somewhere along the way, I heard about Passport2Purity (P2P) and was interested, so when I had the opportunity to get a Passport2Purity Getaway Kit, I took it! While it’s recommended that this kit be used on a weekend getaway with your preteen, our finances didn’t allow that this summer. Instead, I tried to make our sessions special by going to Sonic Happy Hour and allowing each of my daughters to choose the drink of her choice. Then we went home, grabbed a snack, and settled in.

I wondered if I would have to drag my daughters through to completion of the program, but to my surprise, they began begging me to do the next session before we finished the one we were on! We finished all five sessions plus the optional session in two weeks.

The sessions covered the meaning of purity, the purpose of dating, changes to their bodies, the hows and whys of intimacy between a husband and wife, and peer pressure. The optional session touched on related topics that kids face as they go through their teen years.

The session CDs are entertaining and engaging. Each session also has a project that drives the main point of the session home. (I’m not a “project” mom, and I did all the projects with items I already had around the house. They were the perfect way to wrap up a session.) The getaway kit includes a Travel Journal for your preteen to take notes in (with devotionals for follow-up after completing the program) and a Tour Guide for parents which has the project instructions, a copy of the Travel Journal (with answers already filled in), discussion questions, and prayers for your preteens as well as other helpful resources.

Before we had even finished the entire program, my daughters told me they didn’t think going through P2P once was enough. They want to repeat the program once a year through their teen years so they don’t forget what they learned, the commitments they have made to themselves, God, and their parents, and why they made those decisions.

Somewhere along the way, I was afraid that legalism would enter the picture and that my daughters would feel condemned if they made different choices than those recommended by Barbara and Dennis Rainey. But while the Raineys made a compelling case for purity throughout the program, they never tried to force students into making any decisions they weren’t comfortable with. Instead, they actually encouraged students and parents to continue to discuss the information presented until the student was able to make informed and voluntary decisions about that information.

Over and over again, the Raineys stress that if students don’t have a plan ahead of time, someone else will decide for them. They encourage preteens to decide what their boundaries are now so they have a better chance of maintaining them later. They also present lots of grace in the recorded testimonies of older teens and young adults who made good decisions and ones they later regretted. They present all of them without condemnation, criticism, or judgment.

Now I feel like I have been thorough in helping my daughters understand what they’ll be up against in their teen years, and the doors are wide open for discussions about sensitive issues that can be difficult for parents and preteens to bring up.

We’re looking forward to doing Passport2Purity’s Getaway Kit again next year!

For more information, please connect with Family Life:

Website – Receive 25% off the getaway kit by using the promo code PASSPORT.  Discount code good through 8/31/15

Facebook

Twitter: @FamilyLifeToday @DennisRainey @BarbaraRainey

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Posted in Family, Parenting, Review | 2 Comments

No Homeschool Room? No Problem!

Don't feel bad for not having a dedicated homeschool room! Join me as I share how our homeschool has grown past our school room.

*This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend products we use, enjoy, and think may be helpful to your family too.

No Homeschool Room? No Problem!

Whether you’re a veteran homeschool family or just starting out, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have a dedicated homeschool room. We have had a homeschool room from the start, but the more we embrace a lifestyle of learning, the less time we spend doing lessons in our homeschool room. It has become a place to store our curriculum, books, and resources, to organize and plan, and to reflect on our homeschool journey, but it’s no longer where we spend most of our days.

(You can see pictures of our homeschool room from 2012-13 and 2013-14 using these links. It hasn’t changed much, so I’m not posting new pictures this year.)

BookGirl now prefers to work on her lessons in her room, with her cat sleeping nearby. Princess likes to work on the floor in her room or the den. I have had kids sitting on the edge of the tub asking me questions about confusing parts of lessons while I dry my hair. The girls have piled onto my bed on Friday mornings for writing workshops. We often meet at the kitchen table for learning, especially when we’re working on subjects the girls do together (mostly science and social studies). When we’re experiencing spring fever on a gorgeous day, we sometimes move our studies outside.

But our learning experiences go far beyond our home. We take field trips whenever possible, both to supplement what we’re learning at home and to find new subjects that interest us to study when we return home again. The girls have done their lessons in the car or in waiting rooms when we had to travel to specialist appointments. We listen to audiobooks when we run errands. We participate in group activities and classes in our community.

As the girls get older and the world becomes their classroom, the homeschool room just isn’t as important to us as it was early in our homeschool journey. I’m thankful we have it (especially all the bookshelves!), but it is no longer the hub of our homeschool. Our learning takes place all over the house, our community, our state, and, as the girls get older, beyond.

Only have a closet or corner to store your homeschool supplies? That’s okay. A dedicated homeschool room is not the solution to your homeschool woes. In fact, it might keep you from finding a lifestyle of learning for your family—one that goes far beyond a homeschool room!

Related articles:

Want to see what other families are doing with their homeschool rooms? Visit iHomeschool Network’s NOT Back-to-School Blog Hop!

iHomeschool Network Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop Calendar 2015

 

Posted in "Not" Back to School, Homeschool, Special Needs | 6 Comments

Our Faith-Filled Summer (OAC Summer Challenge Update)

Our progress on the Odyssey Adventure Club Summer Challenge!

As an Odyssey Adventure Club blogger, my family enjoys a complimentary membership to the Odyssey Adventure Club. (We have listened to and loved Odyssey for years, so this was a great opportunity for us.) 

Our Faith-Filled Summer (OAC Summer Challenge Update)

I signed up for the Odyssey Adventure Club Summer Challenge last month when I shared it with you. While I haven’t gotten many emails from them about the details of the challenge, I know the focus was on memorizing five verses, getting active in five activities together as a family, and sharing God’s love and your faith in five different ways. I’m going to update you on how we’re doing and want to hear about your progress in the comments.

Five memory verses:

My husband has traveled for work a lot this summer, which has really messed up our routine of spending time in the Word together after supper. We have memorized one verse together—the theme verse for Vacation Bible School (VBS). We are reading through the book of Daniel together and discussing that, but we really need to pick a few more verses and work on those together as a family.

Five “active” activities:

My husband and the girls tried to train to run a mile together. Because of some health issues I’m having this summer, I couldn’t participate. I walked instead. That didn’t work out very well because Princess has little short legs while my husband and BookGirl are pretty evenly matched. Then the heat and humidity hit, and that activity fell by the wayside. We are working on doing stretching exercises together, and it has been a good experience. We have also been swimming together, which is great exercise and a lot of fun!

Sharing God’s love and our faith in five different ways:

We have really been working on this one! We all served in our church VBS program in one way or another, and we have also been loving on some people who have come across our path who do not have the same advantages we do. We have done an act of kindness for an elderly woman and her caregiver every week this summer too. It has been a lot of fun and has shown us (once again) what a blessing it is to serve others!

Now that I look at our lists, I see that we need to step it up on the memory verses, but we’re on track to get five active activities and faith-sharing activities done by the end of the summer. I’m looking forward to finishing strong! (If you want to participate, it’s not too late to join!)

If you’re participating in the OAC Summer Challenge, how are you doing? If not, what activities is your family doing together this summer?

 

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